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Full-Text Articles in Legal History

Note, Created In Its Image: The Race Analogy, Gay Identity, And Gay Litigation In The 1950s-1970s, Craig J. Konnoth Jan 2009

Note, Created In Its Image: The Race Analogy, Gay Identity, And Gay Litigation In The 1950s-1970s, Craig J. Konnoth

Articles

Existing accounts of early gay rights litigation largely focus on how the suppression and liberation of gay identity affected early activism. This Note helps complicate these dynamics, arguing that gay identity was not just suppressed and then liberated, but substantially transformed by activist efforts during this period, and that this transformation fundamentally affected the nature of gay activism. Gay organizers in the 1950s and 1960s moved from avoiding identity-based claims to analogizing gays to African-Americans. By transforming themselves in the image of a successful black civil rights minority, activists attempted to win over skeptical courts in a period when equal ...


A New E.R.A. Or A New Era? Amendment Advocacy And The Reconstitution Of Feminism, Serena Mayeri Jan 2009

A New E.R.A. Or A New Era? Amendment Advocacy And The Reconstitution Of Feminism, Serena Mayeri

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Scholars have largely treated the reintroduction of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) after its ratification failure in 1982 as a mere postscript to a long, hard-fought, and ultimately unsuccessful campaign to enshrine women’s legal equality in the federal constitution. This Article argues that “ERA II” was instead an important turning point in the history of legal feminism and of constitutional amendment advocacy. Whereas ERA I had once attracted broad bipartisan support, ERA II was a partisan political weapon exploited by advocates at both ends of the ideological spectrum. But ERA II also became a vehicle for feminist reinvention. Congressional ...


"Neutral" Principles: Rethinking The Legal History Of Civil Rights, 1934-1964, Anders Walker Jan 2009

"Neutral" Principles: Rethinking The Legal History Of Civil Rights, 1934-1964, Anders Walker

All Faculty Scholarship

This paper recovers Columbia Law Professor Herbert Wechsler's constitutional involvement in the long civilrights movement. Derided for criticizing Brown v. Board of Education in 1959, Wechsler first became involved in civil rights litigation in the 1930s, continued to be interested in civil rights issues in the 1940s, and argued one of the most important civil rights cases to come before the Supreme Court in the 1960s. His critique of Brown, this article maintains, derived not from a disinterest in the black struggle but from a larger conviction that racial reform should be process rather than rights-based. By recovering Wechsler ...